Company car drivers like to have a say on colour – it’s often the only aspect they’ll get to choose if they’re a jobs need rather than a perk driver.
When I was offered a choice of red or white for our Leon long termer I plumped for the latter.
And it seems that I’m not alone in favouring white. There’s been a resurgence of white in the new car market over the last few years, led by the luxury brands, according to Mark Bulmer, research editor - CAP Black Book.
He says that there is also a growing demand for white among small, more environmentally friendly models.
Some fleet operators steer clear of white cars though - fearing a lower resale value.
Bulmer points out that in the past white was “the kiss of death in the used market”. He says: “Not for nothing was the phrase ’60 day white’ used in the trade to evoke the time a dealer might expect a white car to remain unsold.”
But the present situation suggests white shouldn’t be ruled out as white models have been achieving strong residual values. This has been helped by leasing companies putting sensible volumes of white cars into the used car market, according to Bulmer.
SEAT says that white is in high demand in the used car market with dealers bidding hard at auction.
CAP has some interesting statistics which show that since 2007 white cars have tended to be above CAP clean.
It’s worth looking at each sector though.
In the Leon’s lower medium sector white achieves just below CAP, when looking at all plates between 2005 and 2010.
Dig further into the lower medium statistics, however, and white is the best performing colour for the 2007 57 plate. It’s also the best performing colour for a number of other sectors: convertible, lower medium, mini MPV, MPV, small executive, sports, supermini and upper medium.
On the other hand, it’s one of the worst performing colours for 4X4s when looking at all plates between 2005 and 2010.
So fleet operators need to do some careful analysis before deciding their policy on car colour.
After all, there’s always the risk that white will lose its appeal with drivers.
More frequent trips to the carwash have certainly left me questioning the wisdom of choosing a white hatch.